The Immortals: Evermore by Alyson Noël

EvermoreAlyson Noel wrote Evermore, a novel about a teenage girl named Ever who blames herself for her entire family’s death by car accident. Ever is beautiful and popular until the accident. Then, she’s still beautiful, but in her new school hangs out with the outcasts. Her beauty is a fact her friends can’t seem to stop explaining to her. She has a token goth friend and a token gay best friend. She’s wears a stereotypical hoodie and lives now in the OC with her mostly absent, rich lawyer Aunt Sabine who’s given her everything, yet she’s still miserable and wears the miserable girl hoodie. Her little sister Riley’s ghost haunts her room and only Ever can see her. And Ever can see auras and hear people’s thoughts and school is a breeze all she has to do is touch a piece of paper and she’s got all the answers. Suddenly, a hot guy without an aura that she can’t mind read shows up at her school named Damen, and then her crappy BFF Haven suddenly wants to hang out with other people and treats her like shit. Damen is hot-and-cold with Ever and legally emancipated, yet has tons of cool, expensive stuff and has lived all over the world. He’s constantly pulling flowers out of girl’s ears to impression. Oh really? My Dad did that trick with pennies when I was kid and still does it to little kids to this day. Oooh, can we say immortal, vampires and girls?

There is the ever-present bitchy high school girls, Stacia and Honor, the ones that are shitty to Ever just because alyson noelthey can be for no real reason other than they are shitheads, very two-dimensional. Then, there’s Craig, Stacia’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. I kept on getting Honor and Haven confused at first because of the “H” names that were words that were not normally not proper nouns and Honor wasn’t really well fleshed out, she was just there to lend support to Stacia. I’m not saying the names Honor and Haven can’t be pretty or nice names, it’s just they were a little too similar for me. Riley, the dead little sister, was probably the most interesting three dimensional character in the whole thing. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between Damen and Ever- ever!

It bounced around and skipped around a lot. It was like Noël was getting tired of writing a scene, and then she’d skip ahead to a scene she wanted to write. I had to assume a lot of things happened between the skips, read between the lines, so to say. Her transitions sucked, quite honestly. And she bounced around between present tense and past tense. I wanted to scream a few times “STICK TO A TENSE IN YOUR NARRATIVE!!” I saw the villan from a mile away and knew that the indicated bad guy wasn’t really the bad guy all along. She was trying to do a lot of things, but honestly, it didn’t quite work out.

I feel very bad saying these things about Noël’s writing. First off, there’s a dichotomy in the publishing world: everyone who buys books wants literature and classics to be published. The people who run the publishing houses and the literary agents want something that will sell and make them money, regardless of if it’s going to be pulp fiction that will fade away in a few years or not. A lot of authors are pushed to write a book and submit it, and now, there is a lack of proper editing and grooming of an author. So, I have a hard time blaming the authors 100%. Secondly, I felt Noël was trying to create something that was a modern classic, but could have used a few more drafts and in the end, fell short, like a lot of popular chic-lit fiction. She had some good starts in Wiccan and Occult symbology to make this actual research in Damen’s and Drina’s magic, but they didn’t quite connect in the first book. She had a lot of promise with the theme and theory of the series, but if she had tried a few more drafts, it would have turned out much better, I felt. But, I’m sure her agents and publishers pushed her to write it and submit it as quickly as possible, stopping her from doing more drafts, but they aren’t stopping her from writing sequels, either. It’s the publishing industry’s greed, I felt, that made this book fall short. They wanted to make money off Noël’s idea before it was fully developed, ignoring the inconsistencies in her writing. Thirdly, Noël is extremely accessable to her fans: on the Immortals website’s forum b-board, Noël herself responds to her fan’s questions, paying a lot of attention to them, personally. She posts an email address on the “contact” section of the site, inviting fans to contact her personally, which is quite genuine and open.  She comes off as very sweet and kind- and she made sure there was a fun, interactive website for them to explore and play games on, not just tons of information to read, articles and links. She seems to really care about her fans.

To be fair, it seems that a lot of authors have a lot of great ideas about a series in their first novels, but they can’t quite mesh them together very well in the first novel, but they come together a little better in the second and third in the series. This is why I’m giving the Immortals Series a second chance, which I think we all should do. I have not read Blue Moon or Shadowlands, the sequels, but I am going to, in hopes that they do improve in concept.

Edward Cullen similarity ranking:

Mind reading: Ever had empathic abilities.

New kid becomes a crush: Check mark!

Skipping school without repercussions: Yeppers

Absent Parent figure: Right on

Addiction to something (adrenaline or some other substance): Oh yeah, Ever suddenly discovers alcohol and suddenly becomes an alcoholic in one chapter.

Romantic Classical Literary Comparisons in an attempt for the author to look smarter: Wuthering Yes

Showdown that obliterates an entire room: Totally

So, I give it 6 out of 10. It was a lot like Twilight, and the jury’s out.

Was this worth reading? To a person older than their teens with a college degree, no I wouldn’t suggest it because of the narrative tense switching and the lack of transitions. Younger readers and less educated adults might appreciate the storyline over those errors, but those two big faults (tense changing and lack of chemistry) just distracted me from it and drove me nuts. It’s just a little immature in writing. I felt like Noel coul have done a few more drafts and more stylistic editing before submitting it to her publishers. But, like I said, I’m giving Blue Moon or Shadowlands a chance after this, seeing as most authors are just getting the hang of the universe they have created and still ironing details in the first book in the series. To all authors: not everything you like belongs in the series, but it might belong in a later, newer one you create down the road.

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~ by whattoreadaftertwilight on September 18, 2009.

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